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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 22, 2008 / 16 Adar I 5768

Liberal patriotism

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Michelle Obama struck a raw nerve earlier this week when she suggested she had never been proud of her country until now. "For the first time in my adult lifetime," the 44-year-old wife of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama told a Milwaukee crowd, "I'm really proud of my country."


Conservative pundits and bloggers were quick to criticize Mrs. Obama. And even Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy, let it be known that she has never had any problem being proud of her country.


Most liberals, on the other hand, were willing to give Michelle Obama the benefit of the doubt. Of course, she's proud of the United States, they insisted. It's just that she's especially proud now because, as an Obama campaign spokeswoman explained, for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who've never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grass-roots movement for change. Her husband followed suit, saying that it wasn't our country that Michelle was not proud of, but politics as they've been practiced in recent years.


The flap might seem trivial, but it speaks to a much larger division between liberals and conservatives over the meaning of patriotism. Michelle Obama may consider herself a patriotic American. But her comments suggest that she sees the role of the patriot as critic: America needs perfecting, and until it conforms to her ideal, she won't be proud of it. She said her newfound pride in her country was "not just because Barack has done well, but because people are hungry for change." Mrs. Obama went on to say: "I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment."


It's a view her husband, Barack Obama, seems to share. Last fall, Sen. Obama stirred a similar controversy when he talked about his decision to quit wearing a flag lapel pin that he, like many members of Congress and others, had worn since the Sept. 11 attacks. He said that the pins had become "a substitute for true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security." He added, "I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."


It is as if both Obamas are suggesting that America is somehow lacking, unless a President Obama can change it. It is a theme that seems to resonate with liberals: America could be a great nation — if only liberals were in charge.


But most Americans already think their country is great — no matter who occupies the White House. Patriotism isn't about loving your country when your party is in power. It isn't about liking its political leaders or even agreeing with all the nation's policies.


No matter how much we may have disliked Bill Clinton, conservatives didn't feel ashamed of our country or think it is any less great and noble a nation when he was in office. You can't imagine conservatives refusing to fly the flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance because Clinton raised taxes or misbehaved in the Oval Office.


Patriotism is a lot like the unconditional love of a parent for a child. A parent doesn't demand a child be perfect in order to love him. Nor does that love mean that a parent does not recognize a child's faults.


Conservatives seem to understand this almost intuitively, but liberals seem to struggle with it. Liberals' patriotism often seems grudging — as if they believe it's the country's duty to win their love rather than their duty to love their country.


Our elected officials don't make America great, nor do temporal policies. America is great because of its people, its defining institutions and its freedoms. You would think a woman hoping to be the country's next first lady could take pride in that.

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JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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